March 4, 2021

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Quote of the Day

"I'm begging of you please don't hesitate" – Dolly Parton, changing the lyrics to "Jolene" before getting her COVID-19 vaccine shot. Now, that's a remix we can get down to.

Déjà Vu


The Story

Global carbon emissions have rebounded to pre-coronavirus times.

That's not good.

It's not. Global carbon emissions dropped more than 6% last year – the largest annual drop since WWII. In the early months of the pandemic, that drop was actually closer to 17% as businesses and factories shut their doors, and commutes and air travel became a thing of the past. Skies looked bluer, animals roamed around, and air quality seemed to be improving. But that progress was short-lived. And in some parts of the world, carbon emissions are now higher than in the Before Times.

How is this possible?

The short answer: the economy. As lockdowns started to lift in several parts of the globe, the race to rev up the beaten-down economy began. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global carbon emissions in December were 2% higher than in 2019. That increase was largely driven by major economies like China, India, and Brazil – who quickly reopened their manufacturing and construction industries. The IEA is saying it's a "stark warning" that the world's not prioritizing clean energy. And that governments need to "move quickly with the right energy policies."

What can be done?

Scientists say a 7% drop in carbon emissions could reduce global temps. That number's in line with the Paris climate deal's goals and could help us avoid devastating damage like record wildfires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. So it's time to kick clean energy into high gear. Think: using renewable energy (like wind and solar power) or cutting down on meat consumption – which scientists say is the single best environmental action a person can take. (If that's not enough for you, a new study found that eating meat daily can increase your risk of heart disease, pneumonia, and diabetes.) But wait, there's more.

Go on.

Enter: electric vehicles – which can reportedly produce nearly 43% less carbon emissions than diesel cars. Companies like GM, Volvo, and even FedEx are cruising toward replacing all of their fleet with electric cars in the next few decades. Meanwhile, the European Union's tackling household appliances. The 27-nation bloc passed the "right to repair" law to make these large items more energy-efficient and durable. Which it hopes will reduce waste and curb its environmental footprint.

theSkimm

Scientists and environmental activists have been blaring the alarm about the consequences of climate change. And while the pandemic gave the world a moment to catch some clearer skies, old habits are coming back.


Psst...here's why climate change can also be bad news for your wallet.

And Also...This


Who's speaking out…

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). Yesterday, he apologized and said he was "embarrassed" for his actions after a third woman accused him of sexual harassment. Earlier this week, Anna Ruch, who met Cuomo at a wedding in 2019, came forward and said the governor put his hand on her bare lower back. And placed his hands on her face before allegedly kissing her cheek. This follows claims from two of Cuomo's former aides, who said he made advances toward the both of them in work situations. NY lawmakers have called for the governor to resign. And NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said Cuomo should "step aside" if he can't address these claims and govern at the same time. But Cuomo said he's staying put for now.

  • Power down: As early as tomorrow, the NY legislature could revoke Cuomo's emergency powers that were put in place last year at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Also getting flack: Earlier this week, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo said he couldn't cover his brother's scandal because it's a conflict of interest – despite covering his COVID-19 successes all of last year. Which has some people saying 'double standard much?'

Where things are getting worse…

Myanmar. Yesterday, the UN said the country's military allegedly killed at least 38 protesters. It's the highest daily death toll since the junta took over the gov last month. For weeks, people in Myanmar have been protesting the military coup that saw their civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrested. But Myanmar security forces aren't backing down, using tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets, and even live ammunition against protesters. At least 18 people were killed in clashes over the weekend. Now, the UN says the total death stands at more than 50. And a UN special envoy is calling on member states to step up and "stop this situation."

What's got people talking…

This frozen embryo case. Yesterday, actress Sofia Vergara won a lawsuit against her ex-fiancé, Nick Loeb, preventing him from using the embryos they created when they were together without her consent. The ruling comes after a years-long battle and multiple lawsuits in California and Louisiana. And serves as a reminder to consider all factors (and possible contracts) when freezing your eggs and embryos.


Back up: If you want to know why someone would choose to freeze their eggs or embryos to begin with, we have a guide for that.

Why you may want to take a closer look at your pet's accessory...

It could be deadly. Seresto, a popular flea collar for cats and dogs, has reportedly been linked to 1,700 pet deaths (and at least a 1,000 human illnesses). So, talk to your vet.

Whose crypto is on fire...

Kings of Leon's.

Thing to Know


3 years

That's how long whisky has to be aged in wooden barrels to be called whisky in Scotland. The traditional definition calls for oak barrels specifically, and most distillers leave it for much longer. So sip respectfully, people.


More than one billion bottles are shipped overseas every year, making it Scotland's biggest export. It's also their national drink. The hosts of the STARZ docu-series "Men in Kilts" – who you miiight recognize from "Outlander" – are big fans. Read our preview and watch the show to learn more about whisky, get a taste for the Scottish way of life, and feel like you're somewhere other than your living room. Slàinte (hint: Scottish Gaelic for cheers) to that.

SkimmMoney

If you spent time working-from-not-your-home (think: at your parents' house out of state or Airbnb-hopping around the country) in 2020, prepping your taxes could look a little different this year. Hint: you may have to file two types of state tax returns. We Skimm'd what you need to know to get it done right.

Skimm'Picks

Here are today's recs to help you live a smarter life…


1. Super soft joggers. Because we can't stop, won't stop wearing sweats. But it's nice when they actually look good. Get 20% off your first pair – before they sell out again.*


2. Celeb-approved bone broth. This NYC staple can help reduce inflammation, curb hunger, and improve digestion. And now you can order it anywhere in the US. Oh, and get 15% off using code SKIMM15. Slurp on.*


3. Our fave products from women-owned brands that give back. We've got an aluminum-free deodorant that donates to breast cancer research. And a daily moisturizer that supports gender equality. Do good, feel good.


4. The latest episode of our "Skimm'd from the Couch" podcast, sponsored by Hulu. Hear from NBC News Chief White House Correspondent and Weekend TODAY co-anchor, Kristen Welker. She's got tips on public speaking, asking for more responsibility at work, and more. Headphones, in.*


PS: Like what you see here? Make sure you're signed up to get more picks like these in your inbox every Monday. We've got exclusive shopping recs, streaming ideas, life hacks, and more.

*PS: This is a sponsored post.

Skimm’rs


This last year has been one for the books. Let's not wait 'til 2040 to celebrate women who are making history in big and small ways right now. Got someone in mind? Tell us here.


Giving the insider take...Marley C (MN). The 17-year-old launched a podcast that offers a peek into the life of Gen Z. She covers topics like social media fears, teen anxiety, drugs, suicide, eating disorders, and more. Check it out.


Taking the initiative...Diane L (VA) and Graciela C (NY). The duo created a database for US salaries of women in architecture to ensure more transparency and equity in the industry. Learn more.


(Some) Birthdays...Stephanie Schein (NY), Kevin Sachs (NY), Bob Snyder (FL), Dan Behrens (MN), Amy Morgan (MI), Becky Hlidek (MA), Tia Di Salvo (MA), Sarah Wagner (NJ), Lucy Wallace (VA), Kelly Jensen (MD), Ruby Wortis (MA), Tammy Todd (NJ), Jayna Nance (TX), Sarah Shea (OR), Evan Derrow (MD)


PS…we've also got a video wall to shout out a woman in your life who's making an impact on you. Check it out.

Skimm More

We've got product recs for all the fur babies in your life. Think: a pair of waterproof dog booties, a rechargeable collar light, and a treat bag.


And if you're looking for other smart ways to spend your time…

  • Listen to our news podcast "Skimm This" for clarity on the biggest stories of the week.

  • Tune in to our career podcast "Skimm'd from the Couch" for tips to build your resume.

  • Subscribe to our "Skimm Money" newsletter to keep up to date with your wallet.

  • Sign up for our "Press Pause" newsletter for curated shopping, reads, and entertainment recs.

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